tv CNN Newsroom CNN January 2, 2010 12:00pm-1:00pm EST
nation the president reiterated his promise to "disrupt, dismantle and defeat al qaeda." listen. >> the investigation into the christmas day incident continues. and we're learning more about the suspect opinion we know that he traveled to yemen, a country grappled with crushing poverty and deadly insurgencies. it appears he joined an affiliate of al qaeda and this group, al qaeda and in the arabian peninsula trained him, equipped him with explosives and directed him to attack that plane headed to america. this is not the first time this group targeted us. in recent years they bombed yemeni restaurants and hotels, and include our embassy in 2008 killing one american. so as president i've made it a priority to strengthen our partnership with the yemeni government, training and equipping their security forces sharing intelligence and working with them to strike al qaeda terrori terrorists. >> that was the president in his weekly address. talking about the bravery
onboard that flight. specifically that young danish filmmaker you heard from last saturday and the crew. it could have ended differently for northwest flight 253. cnn sandra endofound with the added security measures they still need to stay alert while flying. >> reporter: flying these days shouldn't be a gamble like in the movie "passenger 57" with wesley snipes. >> the flight is in the air. hijackers are onboard. one passenger is fighting back. >> ever play roulette? >> on occasion. >> always bet on black. >> reporter: with the threat terror in the skies passengers may need to become real-life action heroes. >> i'm pretty sure i'd spring no action. >> a proactive attitude if they think you're doing something that is unsatisfactory, they're going to pretty much take you down themselves and not wait for air marshals to show up. >> reporter: the department of homeland security is taking added precaution at airports
this holiday weekend to prevent that from happening. >> this is a special security announcement. >> reporter: expect more bomb sniffing dogs. air marshals on flights. and 100% screening's passengers traveling into the united states. still, even the president admits security measures can't catch everything. >> an alert and courageous citizenry are far more resilient than an isolated extremist. >> reporter: which leaves the flying public on the front line. just as on christmas day when a passenger confronted the alleged terrorist on that northwest flight. one traveler we spoke with says he wants airlines to give passengers better guidance on how to react. >> there should be advice given and if that advice is taken, well, that's a different matter. >> reporter: security experts say being on the lookout is key. not profiling someone based on ethnicity, but checking for out of place behavior, and many travelers we spoke with recognize it's important to be vitch length. >> i try to keep a lookout for
something weird. >> all of us need to be in it to help, because it's -- our lives and our country that we're trying to protect. >> reporter: the transportation security administration says more air marshals in training now will be onboard in the next two months, but still, not enough for every flight. leaving passengers and crew to fend for their own safety. sandra endo, cnn at reagan national airport. now right after the unsuccessful bombing, republicans throwing jabs as well here criticizing really the president for being soft on terror but today the senate republican leader struck a more optimistic tone during the gop weekly radio address. >> two long and difficult wars a prolonged recession, double digit unemployment, these are difficult days for our nation, and in this new year we're grateful for the courageous men and women of our own day who keep a lonely watch to defend the cause of liberty. we're also painfully aware of
how many americans were out of work this christmas, but these challenges don't define us as people. what's always defined america is its ability to overcome even the most daunting difficulties. >> mcconnell added, when the challenges are greatest, americans always join ranks. checking other stories for you now. the death toll and itting at 39 in the suicide bomb attack on a volleyball game in northwest pakistan. police believe this bomber apparently used his pickup truck loaded down with 600 pounds of explosives, eight houses in the area collapsed because of the blast which could be felt as far as 11 miles away. six children are among the dead. 34 people injured in the blast, still in the hospital today. and a somali man with an ax allegedly trying to break into the home of a controversial danish cartoonist has been charged with attempted assassination. remember the story from a couple years ago? well, the home belongs to kurt westergaard, the man who initially drew that prophet
mohammed wearing a bomb as a turban, that cartoon. you knee cartoon sparked a lot of uprather o'mung the muslim community. over the years several suspects arrested for allegedly plotting to kill the cartoonist. what to do about iran? president obama set this new year's deadline for making progress on the nuclear problem, but iran doesn't seem to be taking it very seriously. in fact, that is putting the president in a pretty tough spot, could you say. our cnn foreign affairs correspondent jill dort hey more on that. >> reporter: even as iran's political upheaval continues, president obama says the clock has run out on its nuclear ambitions. his new year's deadline for iran to prove to the world it's not racing forward to develop a nuclear weapon. >> we are now running out of time. >> reporter: iran's president scoffs at that deadline. the white house says, it's no joke. >> that is a very real deadline for the international community. >> reporter: but will the international community,
especially russia and china, support much tougher economic sanctions on iran? that's still unclear. >> with each passing day, the situation becomes more urgent. >> reporter: and mr. obama is under pressure himself from congress, which is champing at the bit for the u.s. to punish iran on its own, even without international support. another move in this chess game signals that senate john kerry chairman of the senate foreign relations committee, might travel to tehran. the obama deadline comes in the midst of the worst political violence in iran since its disputed elections in june. making it harder for the obama administration to calibrate its next step. whether punishing the iranian government might actually strengthen hard-liners, undercut reformers and hurt average iranians the most. >> we will continue to bear witness to the extraordinary events that are taking place there. >> reporter: opposition leader
mir hussein whose own nephew was killed in demonstrations soenz his website he's ready to die to defend the people's peaceful right to protest. my blood will not be any redder than the blood of the other martyrs, he says. but friday, deadline or no obama deadline, pro-government supporters focus ed their anger on america chanting, "down with usa." that symbolizes mr. obama's deadline dilemma. sanctions can be a delicate balances act hurting not just the leadership but the iranian people, injecting the american president directly into that country's volatile domestic politics. jill dougherty, cnn, washington. here at home, many of you are finding ways to give back to our troops, or u.s. troops who are coming home, and coming up we'll show you how some clever seamstresses are stitching up their version of a warm hug. good news, my phoenix office...
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all right, sir. it's probably pretty safe to say, right, reynolds wolf, no matter where you live in the country, stick your big toe outside, it's cold. i feel look a wuss complaining of cold when some are seeing palestine is double digits. >> everything is relative. here expecting highs around the freezing point a good part of the day. neighbors in the northern plains, way up, 32 degrees below zero at this time. there is a seg smnt of our population, does seem weird.
some like to stay outside. some journey outwards. others during winter put on minimal clothing and jump into freezing water. or water close to it. >> oh, my lord. >> this is crazy. lake minnetonka in minnesota where people don little clothing, judge in and do the polar bear run. sometimes alone, some with friends. some convinceed by others and wonder how the friendship goes once they get out of the water. still, with a little bit i ge, not too worse for wear when they get out of the water, still a crazy thing. >> they're in, they're out's i would be like, get me back home, please. >> some of those faces not so happy when they get out of the water. understandably so. something that will look good around the country. temperatures first and foremost, 65 degrees in miami. expected high for today. to 38 in atlanta. really cold air coming in from north. big reason for that, a trough and jet stream eastern half of the nation and center of the u.s. a western ridge, warmer temperature, but that trough we
have in the east, allows colder air to come in and we're talking about cold air at this hour that is to the tune of 23 degrees below seer know fargo. 15 in duluth. 20 below in thunder bay and right here in international falls, this area, brooke, when he a spot where we had 32 below seer pope trust me. people living there, deal wig that stuff, that circle is more of a frown. it's going to be a rough time for them, to say the very least. however, warmer conditions on the way. expecting a few changes mid-week. what's going to happen, a lot of cold air moving into parts of the southeast. a mix of sunshine and clouds for much of the southeast. then we see a transformation in weather conditions when you get up to parts of new england. case in point, maine. parts of maine, the corridor, northern half of the state up to a foot of snowfall between now and tomorrow afternoon. that coupled with wind gusts, 30, 40 miles aen hour making visibility difficult for travelers. be careful there. the west, snow popping up across parts of the central northern and plains. northern central rockies.
same deal in the cascades and light snowfall in the foothills of the sierra nevadas. maybe truckee, too. the polar bear plunge and everything. >> back to the ice diving nap has to involve some kind of beverages of the adult nature. >> maybe so. i'm not thinking hot cocoa. >> me neither. look at that. how cold would that water be, reynolds? >> obviously above freezing. maybe in the 40s. >> barely. >> cold enough. >> barely above. good lord. >> is it over? >> it's over. bye, reynolds. talk to you in a bit. today we are highlighting some of our favorite stories from cnn's info series. one group found a way to give back to injured troops by making them quilts. cnn photojournalist following a quilt from the sewing machine to the hands of the troops. >> this is my stash. i have a lot of pinks, purples. these are kind of neutrals. this is my sewing machine. these are all threads.
i cut the bug, it's been love at first sight, and i have been quilting probably about 25 years. for me it's a, you know, a mental restoration place. i'll just walk in my sewing room and pick up something. i'd rather be quilting. in this soldier quilts in particular, there is a lot of gratefulness and thankfulness that somebody actually have protecting my freedom. where these quilts are going, they were injured somehow. okay. there we go. i don't like seeing so many young people go away, and come back wounded, and you put the loop here, and go underneath it there. unfortunately right now it's just a fact of life, and i try to do what i can. >> you're going to do that corner. we've already done these three and we're going to do these two. >> this is the finished quilt.
we're going to fold it so we can pack it in the box. are the afghans going to go this time? >> yeah. >> this particular quilt for soldiers projects has distributed over 9,000 quilts. that's a lot of injured soldiers. >> i collect quilts and pack them up and send them down to the person in maryland who distributes them then to bethesda or andrews air force base. >> i'm coming from iraq. i've been in the national guard three years. this is my first deployment. my father served in the marine corps as well as my uncle. it makes me feel pretty good that i can do something that i enjoy doing and that can help other people at the same time. i think it's a great way to say thank you to the wounded soldiers. >> this one was made especially for you. >> looks like a lot of time went into that. it's amazing.
thank you for service to our country. this is a small token of my appreciation for all you've been through. my prayers for you are contained in this quilt. this will actually go into my bedroom so that it's close to me all the time. >> our servicemen need to know that it's not just their family and friends that are supporting them. there's a whole country rooting for them. and i'm one of them. >> amazing. quilts. it's the little things, isn't it? who's behind this? this lovely lady. cnn photojournalist bethany swain what, a pj by day, somehow found time to create this "in focus" series. i love that you've done these pieces for people that don't unts, international sound pieces. you get us reporter types out of the pieces and make it be about these men and women. what prompted you to focus on giving? >> reporter: so we did stories this year, health care, environment, jobs, and we thought it was important to look
at giving at the holidays, because it's the season of give, but it happens all year round. so our storiesic loot this piece, were something that happened. not just at the hol dies. both in traditional and non-traditional ways of themselves to people in their backyards and around the world. >> so you touched on some of the other subjects opinion the economy and whatnot. get nor specific. what are the other is for stories from the series that made it into i guess the favorite special we'll see later this afternoon? >> reporter: 14 pieces from the 80 we did that made into the hour airing at 3:00 eastern. one of the others we'll see, a sneak peek of before the hour at 3:00 is about mr. jalopy, in los angeles. part of the maker movement. a photojournalist, and mr. jalopy, the maker movement, you can't open it, if you can't fix it, then don't buy it and actually says he has the world's biggest ipod in this shop. >> what? really? >> yes. >> and what other stories, and
what other stories, do you have a favorite? of course, one favorite? >> reporter: so i definitely enjoyed john's piece about the injured. >> the quilts. >> 9 quilts. i was excited when we opened up the voting for favorites and that was one my personal favorites. i was happy it made into the hour special. >> talk about how difficult. we have a lot of photojournalists. communicate wig men and women. what was that process like for you? >> reporter: it's been great. over 120 photojournalists in cnn and over 40 participated in the project. it's wonderful to give an opportunity to do these pieces. because as you mentioned, we call them natural sound packages. people telling their own stories. a photojournalist, they shoot, they write, produce and edit the story themselves, and it's so great to be able to be involved in the story from start to finish. >> and quick, bethany, how can people learn more about the series? >> reporter: so we have a facebook fan page. go to facebook.com/cnninfocus.
learn what we've done so far and what we lan to do in 2010. always looking for story ideas and impact from our viewers. >> your picture, gorgeous. you are gorgeous. nice to see you in front of the camera talking about this. beth fi swain, thank you so, so much. a reminder, this full hour of "favorites in focus" bethany mentioned, 3:00 p.m. today, eastern time. the christmas day would be bomber suspect in a high-powered hour u.s. taxpayers are paying for, our legal guys have plenty to say ton that one. stay here. but pressure... and congestion. (announcer) you need a sinus medicine ooohhh... that rescues you from all three symptoms introducing new sudafed pe® triple action™. for more complete relief from the sinus triple threat. get more complete relief. with new sudafed pe® triple action™. also find sudafed® behind the counter.
all right. a quick check of our top stories. first the president is linking this botched christmas day terror attack on a northwest flight to al qaeda. spoken in his weekly radio address basically saying the suspects established ties with the terrorist network in yemen, and he says the group gave the 23-year-old umar farouk abdulmutallab his marching orders. the president ordered a complete investigation into that attack. and you heard about this attack in pakistan. the death toll here from this suicide car bombing at this volleyball game in pakistan that number continues to rise. we're hearing 93 now.
93 people killed in yesterday's attack at the game near the afghan border. the blast apparently coulding felt some 11 miles away. 34 people remain hospitalized. the bombing one of the deadliest seen in years. no group has yet to claim responsibility there. and in iran, taking a horde line in negotiations over its nuclear program. it's giving until the end of this month to accept this counterproposal to a u.n. plan to swap nuclear fuel forte rhan's enriched uranium. the u.n. proposes an all at one exchange but iran wants to trade its uranium for fuel in several smaller batches. we'll have another check of the day's top stories coming up in about 20 minutes' time. and iran taking a harder line in negotiations over its nuclear program. just told you about that. i'm going to move on to -- when it comes to keeping dangerous chemicals off of some of our airplanes, one high-tech machine may offer some answers,
at least, but here's the sticking point. pretty controversial. the reason this thing can basically, well, see just about everything, through our clothes. cnn's brian todd actually tried it out. >> reporter: at phoenix' sky harbor airport the newest weapon on the war on tearer that can see through clothes carrying explosives. already used and millions of passengers these special x-rays can catch all kinds of contraba contraband. >> regular weapons, gun, knive, box cutters and the like, also unusual types of weapons. explosive, liquid explosives, gels. >> reporter: officials at the manufacturer say the machines can also detect an explosive known at petn, which the suspect in the christmas day incident was allegedly carrying. the machine's images will look like this. outlines of the body, not in detail, but weapons and other items do show up. this technology has been very controversial, because previously it was much more invasive. i went through a so-called back
scatter machine and was advised if i didn't want my privs areas shown i should put a metal plate in my pants. i stepped just in front of the machine. turn around. in just a few seconds, the monitor displays my humble contours. now in this test, i'm playing the role of a would-be terrorist and try to hide a plastic lipstick container my vest pocket. busted. i sneak a sports drink bottle. busted again. how about wires in a sealed sandwich bag hidden in my sock? on the monitor they show up on my ankle. but the machines have limit aces. when i pour water into a sealed sandwich bag, place it insidy my belt line and in a sock you can barely see it, but one company behind this technology says trained screeners would detect it, and the transportation security administration says they have other methods to detect liquids. when this came out, privacy advocates called it a virtual strip search and not satisfied with the newer technology. >> putting a digital fig leaf on
the image protecting from what the operator will see but the machine itself can still record all the details and store that information for use at a later point. >> reporter: a tsa official tells cnn there won't be any hard drives to store the images, and says no one will have access to pictures without the so-called fig leaf on them. from one passenger tested on the older machines -- >> i've been through it over in europe. and -- didn't mind. >> reporter: officials with rapascan tell us the machines are only used if more than a metal detector is required, and passengers then get a choice between the machines and pat downs. brian todd, cnn, washington. well, that attempted terror plot onboard that northwest jet has major ramifications not only of course for the 23-year-old suspect but for us every time we go to the airport. we'll talk about that and this ongoing custody battle that's been five years in the making. is it over for mr. goldman here in the united states versus a maternal family in brazil and also we all do it.
right? sometimes tweeting. grab our cell phones when we're board, but can you tweet from the jury box? we're going to talk about that with our legal guys. here they are. avery friedman, civil rights attorney and law professor out of cleveland, ohio and richard herman a new york crim maldefense attorney and law professor, but he's in vegas today. nice. like that. gentlemen, good morning. >> good morning. >> brooke i know you're addicted. >> can be kind of bad sometimes. anyway, let's first talk about abdulmutallab. president obama coming out saying absolutely this thwarted terror attack is in fact linked to al qaeda and richard, my first question to you is, some people are putting two major mistakes with u.s. intelligence here. >> major mistakes? that's putting it mildly, brooke. i mean, just some quick highlights. there are so many highlights. but the guy is in yemen. based on a u.s. visa. he joins this terrorism organization. he has, while in yemen, his
father goes to the embassy in nigeria and complains that his son is involved with terrorists. son probably told the father i'm going to blow the plane up. then the kid goes from yemen to the netherland on a one-way ticket, cash purchase, no luggage. then from the netherlands to the united states. one-way ticket, cash. no luggage. i mean, hello! is anybody awake? that's all i want to know. is anybody awake? the president has to fire everybody and put in competent people. >> so as we're going forward, and as people are trying to figure what happened and what didn't happen, avery, one of the issues as we look, trying to dig into the background of abdul mutalib. clear he came from an affluent family yet is using this court-appointed attorney for this trial in detroit. why? >> yeah. big time lawyer. the chief of the public defender's office in the u.s. district court, brooke, will be handling the defense. by? because the family has a lot of money, fwhaut doesn't mean he does, and the fact is, that
merriam seefrd, the chief public defender and all federal courts have them. richard will tell thaw, too. he's one into that also in new york. the same thing. he will have competent legal representation. i think, however, the defense realistically, brooke, is going to be very difficult. what's he going to do? flying in for a pistons game? there is nothing. >> what is his argument? the best defense art? >> you know what? the question that precedes that, brooke, will he even cooperate with his defense lawyers? there's a question about that. but there are so many witnesses. there is so much evidence involved in this case, that the best the defense can do probably is to say, look, give up information. that's going to impact on your sentence. >> let me move on to the next story. brazil custody sas. although of us thought it was over. won the battle, david goldman. going on five years. son sean comes to the states yet avery, the maternal grandmother back in brazil says she will
keep fighting for her grandson. >> yes, savannah beyaunky, calling her grandson making him feel guilty. making a pitch to lula. president desilva, making a political pitch. there's a legal team in brazil still saying they're going to make some effort. the truth is, brooke, the case based on a 1980 international treaty is over. >> richard, do you agree? do you think there's hope for this child to be returned to brazil? >> no. yogi berra said it's not over until it's over. this one's over. no way he's going back to brazil. on a human element, this maternal grandmother lost her daughter. the child from her daughter. you can see where she's coming from. >> sure. >> my dad always told me with bees you make honey. olive branches to mr. goldman they probably would work something out. no hope of salvaging that relationship now. >> most interested. read the article in "time" magazine. richard, tweeting while on jury
duty. some would think, yeah, no-brainer. can't sit there and tweet about what's going on in the case. it would surprise people, in some places you can? >> federal court, can cannot bring a phone, blackberry or anything. state courts you can bring them in. what's happening here is the jurors, most cases are settled, brooke. avery will tell you, most cases settled, don't go to trial. the ones that go to trial have been in the making for years and people's lives are on the line. the future of their families are on the line here and you have to, you need a jury to concentrate on the evidence that comes in. if someone's sitting there tweeting, the judge admonishes them, do not discuss this case anywhere outside the courtroom with anybody. >> avery, but there's proof this has resulted in mistrial after mistrial. >> exactly right. make it simple. 2010 you are going to see american jurors being fined and maybe even going to jail. when you take that oath, brooke, it means what you say. you will not look at other evidence, only the evidence presented at the trial, no more
tweeting, cutting out tweeting, in the jury box in court. >> amazing. i had no idea. >> i see you tweeting, brooke right now. >> i'm trying to tweet. trying. all right. avery, richard, stick around. talk to you on a couple other legal cases. love talking to you. thank you. hang out a second. let me move on briefly. airport security receiving massive upgrades after the 9/11 attacks. so why was a passenger jet targeted by a would-be bomber? look at the lessons learned, and the gaps that are not yet plugged. (announcer) a cold or flu can start fast.
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failed terror plot against that detroit-bound plane. some of the lessons of september 11th have been, well, forgotten and gaps in airport security remain. more from cnn's jum acosta. >> reporter: more than eight years after the attacks on 9/11 the attempted bombing of flight 253 proved terrorists are still exploiting gaps in aviation
security. one hole that worry security experts is right at the top of the tsa. >> it's really shocking that there isn't a permanent tsa administrator in place. >> reporter: it took president obama eight months 20 pick somebody to lead the tsa, but erroll southers, the head of intelligence at los angeles international airport has been in limbo since september. republican senator jim dement is blocking the appointment in protest of white house plans to fully unionize the tsa. >> there's a constant need to adjust and to be flexible, to use imagination, to change things. we cannot ask a third-party union boss whether or not we can move a screener from one station to another. that's what collective bargains does. >> reporter: just two weeks ago the acting administrator of the tsa was hauled before a congressional hearing to explain how one of the agency's passenger screening manuals got leaked on to the internet. at the time, game rossides a hold jover from the bush administration insisted the flying public was safe. >> where are we with respect to
security as relates to the traveling public? >> madam chairwoman, the system is very strong, and i am very confident in saying that. >> reporter: tell that to the 9/11 commission, which warned five years ago the tsa and congress must give priority attention to improving the ability of screening checkpoints 20 detect explosives on passengers. to this day, most air travelers pass through magnetometers which won't pick up bomb materials hidden in clothing. the gao report issued in october found tsa has an array of ten passenger screening technologies but the agency la not deployed any technologies to airports nationwide. the tsa spend $30 million on bomb detecting puffer machines only to find they have frequent maintenance issues opinion new body imaging scanners which could have made the difference in detroit are years away from widespread use. >> bad technology, called whole body images, back scatter machines meter wave machines in
place at airports. at a minimum, noticed something anomalous was taped to this suspect's leg. >> reporter: add to that the plea to include the terrorist no-fly list a list that did not include the suspected bomber on flight 253 and a top security expert says you have a big problem. >> i think the flying public has reason for concern. >> reporter: with new conflict, experts know aviation has seen more security upgrades than the ports and borders. by an attack on an airliner would send a disturbing merge of failure. jim acosta, cnn, washington. the custody battle over sarah palin's grandson. our legal guy, standing by and cannot wait to take on this one.
and now checking some of our top stories -- a new plemp in the wake of that failed bombing attack on a northwest airlines jet christmas day. president obama is officially linking the nigerian national accused in the plot to an al qaeda group in yemen. the president is pledging to intensify efforts with yemeni security officials to stamp out this threat. and somalis trying to kill a
danish cartoonist made a court appearance. the 21-year-old sauce spect charged with the attempted assassination of kurt westergaard. police say he was armed with an ax. the cartoonist is known for his controversial depiction of the muslim prophet mohammed wearing a turban shaped like a bomb. and simpson fans wait no longer. you don't have scrabble to fig you are out your favorite show. reaching a deal with time warner cable ending a bitter public battle over fees. they are keeping mum about the details but the deal basically prevents and sbrepgs of service for millions of time warner subscribers. in one story that's made news recently, tossed oust charges against the five blackwater security guards after being accused of killing 17 unarmed iraqis in a busy iraqi square back in 2007. one of the stories we want to talk. let's bring our legal guys back in. again, avery friedman, civil
rights attorney and professor from cleveland and richard herman, a new york criminal defense attorney and law professor joining us from vegas today. gentlemen, begin with blackwater, and avery, begin with you. in this judge's 90-page opinion he says the government mishandled this case. >> yes. let me make it simple. 90 pages, thoughtful, carefully written by the federal district judge in washington, ricardo urbana. what he said was, look. you've got play fair. if you promise these guards that you would not use their testimony in a legal proceeding, neds, immunize then and then turned around and tried to use it, that's not fair and it has to bes did missed. the good news, though, in the opinion, the federal judge says, it's not over. there are other ways to charge these people. after all, there are 17 iraqis dead. 20 injured. something has to be done. the case is far from over. >> it's not over, and richard, not only that, the iraqis say, hey, our system in the u.s.,
this is rigged. >> well, you can't imagine why they're saying that, when 17 people are dead, and we didn't even get to the issue of any of the other defenses raised by the five blackwater people, but avery's right. the government abused their power here. they gave immunity deals to these five, because they didn't know the facts. and they needed to know the facts early on. so they gave them immunity for information about what happened. and then the government wrongfully and illegally used that information to build a case. they were told not to do it. they did it, and now they've been sanctioned and the case dismissed. >> and before we move on, both said this thing isn't over. prosecutors can appeal. what? 90 days to do so? >> more than that. the federal judge said there are other crimes that the u.s. attorney can charge them with. that's why i say it's not over. >> brooke, these guys were facing 30 years in prison. all of them. >> 30 years? >> right. >> and now charges dismissed.
>> yep. >> amazing. next story, a lot of my friends talking about this. the texas tech coach. what is it? the alamo bowl they playing in tonight. days before this bowl, the coach, mike leach fired because his sophomore wide receiver says his coach locked him in a closet twice after he had a concussion. a couple issues at play here. richard, let's first start with the fact that, what, this wide receiver's father is an analyst with espn and favoritism issues going on? allegedly. >> yeah. the coach is saying the reason why his father craig james, a great college player and professional football player, wants his son to get more playing time. that's why he's against leach. oh, how the might vi fallen. last year texas tech beat texas, undefeated texas team and mike leach was the king of the world. in one year, he's been now terminated from texas tech. the school has integrity. serious allegations here. you know when you get a concussion, this is very serious. it's serious in pro ball,
serious in college ball and high school ball. you have to treat it properly. this is not right and they just had enough of this guy leach. >> and avery, the fact is, you know, this is, this coach had four more years on this contract. what does that mean? >> $10 million left on the contract, but let me stell tell you something. not that simple. richard described one side of the story. the other side of the story is that img, like five minutes from where i am now representing leach was very aggressive in pursuing additional money. the university didn't like it. leach is saying it's retaliation. it's duelling cases in a courtroom, the way it gets resolved brooke, somebody will have to pay some money. >> uko. money there. >> a trial, hopefully jurors won't be tweeting in that trial. >> hopefully not. here's one where the doors are slung wide open. custody battle in alaska. talking about sarah palin's daughter bristol and the father of his 1-year-old, of course, lee vooib johnston. after the election, no longer together at all and now they're
fighting for sole custody and were fighting to have the doors closed on this courtroom during the custody battle but the judge agrees says, no. it's happening open in front of the public. >> judge kerry christianson, the judge says, here's the standard. you have to show the trip, who's 1-year-old, will be debt pra mentally affected knop evidence. this is san effort to keep i say levi out of the picture. the fact is that neither side is acting responsibly. court basically say if you've got two parents to care for a child, that's the best way to go. one party having custody, not wait to go. ultimately, the court's going to do the right thing and i don't think evening eer of these two people will be particularly happy. >> gentlemen, richard, the final word here, this battle, yes, it's a custody battle but so much more than that. is it not? >> much more. what happened to family values? in any event, he's petrified, levi, sarah palin's going to exert her political power and
rick these proceedings, and that's why he wants them publicized. he wants 20 be protected. because he says she's vindictive and malicious. not bristol. but bristol's mom. afraid of that. he wants this publicized. >> he won. he won. >> yeah. one story we will all get to watch, i am sure. richard herman, avery friedman, gentlemen always a pleasure. happy new year. >> happy new year. >> take care. many making new year's resolutions to spend more wisely in the year 2010. one family can really serve as a guide here. they celebrated a debt-free christmas this year after digging out of a $123,000 hole.
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tree. personal finance editor gerri willis take as look. >> reporter: lights, presents, debt. for some it's inevitable after the holiday season, but not for the hildebrandts. the family we fert met last october after he climb out of a whopping $123,000 of debt. >> this beautiful victorian i got at a craft store, but on an after-christmas sale. i probably gout it 65%, 70% off for her. >> reporter: this year they survived holiday shopping debt-free. the kids still got stocking stuffers but candy didn't spend more than $30 on each. one tip, thift store shopping. >> how much you pay for one of these turtle necks? >> the low price going now about $. 9 to $3.99. >> reporter: another way to keep costs down, focusing on family traditions like baking cookies or singing christmas cares at a local nursing home instead of expensive holiday entertainment. just one year ago russell was
working a second job as a night janitor, sleeping in his car to save on gas money. candy stretched their dollar with cheap meals opinion today their finishing the last of the hash browns that got them through the worst of it. the hash browns were part of your strategy for when you were desperate, really saving money? >> absolutely. pretty much a mainstay when there wasn't extra money for groceri groceries. i made it as a side dish for dinner. as you see, soup. yeah. >> reporter: any way you could? >> any way we could regard new age of thrift for the hildebrandts a strategy front and center in the new year. >> we're going over the year the things we want to get, and set up, putting money away for certain things and staying debt-free. that's our number one goal. >> there you go. >> reporter: it took five years for the hildebrandts to come out of their six-figure debt. to hear them tell it it's real savings is more than dollars and
you could call it a decade of innovation. let me take a moment here today to look back at the last ten years and see some of the technology that changed wait we do things every day. our own fredricka whitfield has that. >> reporter: has it really been a full decade since we were counting down the minutes to the new millennium and hoping the lights would stay on when the clock struck midnight? we were afraid the y2k bug was going to shut down computers. remember? not only did our computers stay on, year by year during the first decade of the 21st century, they gradually changed our everyday lives. no more waiting for the paperboy.
we went online to get more and more of our news and information. >> my children do not read the newspaper. my children get all of their news online. >> i don't even subscribe anymore. >> reporter: we used computers to buy things opinion not just on craigs list, the term cyber monday was coined in 2005 referring to online shopping the monday after thanksgiving. we also used computers to connect and reconnect with friends. myspace was founded in 2003. facebook started in 2004. and twitter began tweeting in 2006. even our telephones began to look and act like computers. they weren't just for making calls anymore. >> it's really become a window for us into the world and anything that's not directly in front of you, there's a good thing you can get tat through a smart phone. >> reporter: not only were new phones versatile, we could take them anywhere. only 28% of all americans had cell phones in 2000. by 2009, that percentage had climbed to 85%. and public phones? disappearing.
>> ever use it? >> no, i don't. >> reporter: why not? >> i have a cell phone. >> reporter: cell phones became so popular, some even gave up our land lines. >> one-third of americans now, according to the most recent survey, either have only cell phone, or have a home phone they scratch their heads about, why am i still using it? >> reporter: even in homes that still had land line, the phone books that used to sit next to them were getting hard to find. after all, when we need add phone number, many of us were much more likely to google it on the internet. and since when did the name google become a verb, you ask? well, since it went into the merriam-webster dictionary in 2006. how do we know that? we googled it. fredricka whitfield, cnn, atlanta. a beloved california educator gunned down, execution style, in mexico. what happened, in our top stories.